Pier to Pier, 21st May 2023

Thanks to Cath Robson for this great report on the Pier to Pier:

The ‘Pier to Pier’ is one of the iconic north-east runs and, having had at least one crack at most of
the others, I was keen to finally give it a go. However, I did have some concerns that it couldn’t
possibly live up to the hype (stunning route, lovely spectators, best goody bag…) but it turned out
that I needn’t have worried. The sun was shining on those of us who had made the Metro journey to
South Shields as we headed down Ocean Road to use the facilities at the Haven Sports Centre and it
continued to shine as we met up with other Claremonters heading for the beach start line. After the
compulsory photocall and, with a few minutes to spare, we arranged ourselves in pace order
amongst the mass of runners and off we went across the sand, heading south towards Roker.

I’m sure the front of the field charged up the sandy slope up to the cliff path but Susan and I were
certainly happy to have a bit of a power walk through the well churned sand. Unlike most events
there is no fixed route and we opted for the right hand path across The Leas. Now I know that the
faster runners were probably concentrating on their feet on the narrow tracks but the slight
congestion allowed me the time to appreciate the swathes of cow parsley and buttercups and enjoy
the sound of the ascending skylarks. Once past Marsden Rock with its noisy nesting kittiwakes we
headed on towards Souter Lighthouse and the water station, then onward along the coastal path
past Whitburn with its old windmill and new school. With the sun still shining down, the light
headwind was much appreciated. Somewhere around here you round a headland and get your first
view of the Roker Pier and lighthouse; I did have a moment’s panic that we might have to run the
length of the pier too as with a women’s 10k many years ago! Before long, conditions underfoot
became easier as we hit the promenade at Seaburn, before rounding the final headland and
dropping down on to the beach for the final push towards the finish line, visible right next to the end
of the pier. There was plenty of support from the locals enjoying a Sunday brunch in the sunshine
and from the speedier runners lining the finish straight, already wearing their bonny white T-shirts.

So did it live up to expectations? Absolutely! And to top off a lovely run in great company, the goody
bag/rucksack turned out to be gold standard, beaten only by those provided at the Oscars – bespoke
lager, a pint glass from which to drink it and a special little glass lighthouse as well as top quality
crisps and chocolate.

Unfortunately at time of writing the results aren’t available so just ‘Congratulations!’ to Tom Tinsley
for winning his age group (First Old Gadgie apparently) and the whole of Team Claremont – whether
veteran or novice, fast or ‘steady’, runner or supporter. A grand day out for the sky blues!

The results are now in! There are separate lists for men and women, so that is how I have shown them here:

20Maria Duenas51:30
32Isabel Neatrour53:19
43Nicki O’Brien54:09
65Julie Cross55:54
98Nina Jensen58:31
154Marie Slack1:01:23
171Tara Hipwood1:02:00
218Rachel Hurdman1:03:44
305Mariana Mouzinho1:07:38
307Hazel Juggins1:07:42
445Janet Palmer1:13:26
583Cath Robson1:19:53
587Susan Parker1:20:04
651Sarah Collins1:24:41
652Gill Milne1:24:41
680Mary Martin1:27:29
40Kris Axon44:48
43Mark Anderson44:55
76Paul Robinson47:08
109Tom Tinsley49:19
169Mungai Wairia52:15
239David Lydall55:34
309Richard Slack58:37
446Alan Dunning1:05:22
Tom Tinsley -